1. ITV Report

Nathan Cleverly holds onto WBO title against Shawn Hawk in US

Cleverly was congratulated by Sir Tom Jones after his win. Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Nathan Cleverly is eager to box in America again soon after fans in Los Angeles warmed to his crowd-pleasing style last night.

The WBO light-heavyweight champion produced a stylish and dominant display in his fourth defence to send late replacement opponent Shawn Hawk to the canvass three times towards the end of an eight-round technical knockout win at the Staples Center.

The 25-year-old did not have it all his own way, occasionally shipping meaty right hands from his American foe when in all-out-attacking mode, but the ringside judges would not have required Cleverly's degree in mathematics to identify a wide lead on the scorecards when the stoppage came.

I like to take risks sometimes, so I get caught with punches, but this is boxing. It's a combat sport.

I enjoyed this, I enjoyed the atmosphere. He was a tough opponent but eventually I broke him down. I'm really looking forward to coming back to the US and fighting here again.

– Nathan Cleverly, speaking to the Daily Telegraph
Nathan Cleverly, right, connects with Shawn Hawk Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

The other major alphabet champions in Cleverly's division - American duo Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud and US-based Kazak Beibut Shumenov - are also potential opponents in 2013, which must surpass a quiet past 12 months for the Welshman.

Cleverly also ensured there was a touch of Hollywood glamour added to proceedings last night as Sir Tom Jones and actor Mickey Rourke accompanied him to the ring.

Mickey is a cracking guy and Tom is a Welsh legend who is known and respected around the world

It was honour to have them both in my team and I can't thank them enough for wanting to help me make a name for myself in America.

Although it was quite surreal - my mum loves Tom Jones and she's well chuffed.

More on this story